Real Time Communications Featured Article

Winter Weather Advisory: High Chance of Cloud UC

March 11, 2015

For many US-based organizations, it has been a long winter; record snowfall and extreme temperatures have trapped people at home, in airports or pretty much everywhere other than their office. Yet, some haven’t felt the chill of lost business as much as others. That’s because they have already warmed up to the idea of real time communications from the cloud or more specifically Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS).

UCaaS is natural evolution for many service providers; after all they were in the cloud…well before there was a cloud. Progressive service providers offer UCaaS solutions that integrate mobile, desktop phones or clients along with traditional PBX features, enabling a seamless user experience.  Once a user is connected to UCaaS, their location is irrelevant. After all, no one thinks about going to a specific desk to get e-mail so why should they have to be in a specific cube or office to get real time communications?

With access to the Internet, any smartphone, tablet, or PC can make or take calls from their business phone number.  So even if an employee is socked in by record snowfall and cold weather they can still be connected to peers and customers. While the physical office may be closed, employees can continue to take calls while working from home, hotel rooms, even the airport. Inbound and outbound calls route to them through the cloud, wherever they are. 

With a UCaaS solution, employees can stay connected via a single phone number, regardless of the device being used; desktop phone, softphone, or BYOD cellular phone can all be their “office phone”.  Employees can make outbound calls with their business number and know that the far end will see their business phone number, not a personal number.  With a little luck, a boss can have their staff at work 24 x 7 (though your boss might appreciate that bit more than you)

Image via Shutterstock

This cold weather has certainly given traditional fixed-line PBX users a firsthand view of how quickly their business grinds to a halt and how productivity and revenue are quickly impacted.  Of course you might reside in Arizona or Florida and not be too worried about snow, but hurricanes, brown outs and other natural oddities have a way of imposing the same kinds of threats, regardless of geography.  And unfortunately, the impact of these events can last for days or weeks, not just a few hours.

Part of what differentiates a quality UCaaS solution is knowing that your UCaaS provider has invested in deploying carrier-grade elements in geo redundant data centers that are located across the country, not just across the parking lot.  UCaaS providers, such as GENBAND, are used to meeting the needs of major service providers worldwide, they understand that the elements and architecture have to be ready to survive Mother Nature’s “bad hair days.”  And once winter turns to spring UCaaS solutions like GENBAND’s Nuvia continue to deliver an abundance of other benefits such as instant messaging, presence, collaboration, and video conferencing.

If you’re afraid that a new UCaaS solution will deliver a bill steeper than the snow bank’s you’ve seen on the news, think again.  With many organizations holding on to legacy PBXs for years after they were end of life’d, the cost of a UCaaS solution may actually be less than what you are paying today for the inflated service contract on the old timer in the closet.  Rain, snow or shine, UCaaS is worth a look.  

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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